Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Spotlight On ... Carsten Ball

Carsten Ball reached the final in Los Angeles last weekend (l. to Sam Querrey) despite being ranked outside of the top 200. That success saw him leapfrog into the top 150 for the first time in his career at # 145. He gained scalps over a string of higher-ranked players, including # 75 Marc Gicquel, # 60 Leonardo Mayer and # 29 Dmitry Tursunov (who retired in the second set), before losing to Querrey in three sets.

His 2009 season got off to a slow start. As a wildcard, he lost in the opening rounds of Brisbane (l. to Thomaz Bellucci) and the Australian Open (l. to Michael Berrer). Stepping back down to the Futures circuit, he won a title in New Zealand and climbed into the top 200. Several Challenger quarter-finals followed in Baton Rouge (USA) (l. to Benjamin Becker), Tallahassee (USA) (l. to Danai Udomchoke) and Savannah (USA) (l. to Alex Kuznetsov) before he broke through to reach finals in Sarasota (USA) (l. to James Ward) and Yuba City (USA) (l. to Ryler DeHeart). Returning to the Futures circuit again, he won another title in Sacramento (USA) but suffered two successive losses to DeHeart on his return to the Challenger circuit. Just prior to entering the qualifying for Los Angeles, he had lost in the first round of a Challenger event in Kentucky (USA) (l. to Bruno Agostinelli) and had failed to win a match in his last three tournaments.

Although he plays for Australia, Carsten was born in Newport Beach in America and has his base over there. His father (and coach), Syd Ball, was also a tennis pro. He reached the Australian Open doubles and won eight doubles titles in total.

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